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Still Waters

Can You Fake Mental Illness?

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When someone commits a horrific, inexplicable crime, we naturally wonder whether he’s mentally ill: Who but a crazy person could do such a thing? But when a killer acts crazy after his arrest, we also might wonder whether he’s preparing for his trial. That’s the speculation around Colorado shooter James Holmes, whose psychiatric treatment and bizarre behavior in court and prison make people wonder whether he’s truly insane or building a case for an insanity defense. It leads to the question: Can a criminal get away with faking insanity?

http://www.slate.com...ng_.single.html

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Not if the psychologist making the analysis is worth its money. But you surely can fake all symptoms of a mental illness if you know enough about it. But sooner or later everybody drops his guard.

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"Can a criminal get away with faking insanity?"

I guess that depends how convincing they are. For more serious cases they would probably be forced to be checked out by doctors, psychologists, whoever.

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If Psychology is seen as airy-fairy pretendy science, we will continue to see this belief that you can pretend to have a mental illness and get away with it. Along with this, will be the assumption that some mental illnesses cause the patient legitimate pain and suffering, while others are merely a fancy sounding name to cover up some character defects.

I imagine that while James Holmes's defence team will be able to point to some weird, quirky behaviour and cast doubt on his mental state, they would be more effective if they could identify situations in his history where he's experienced stress and trauma, and try to develop the story of how those experiences lead him to the position he is now in. Even if he has a family history of mental disorder, I would hate to see them whack an official diagnosis on him to diminish responsibility for his actions, because to do so, reflects negatively on every person who shares that diagnosis and hasn't gunned down a bunch of people.

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How is someone who murders a bunch of random people not mentally ill? I don't understand. Are we going to go back to the conspiracy theory explaining the event?

Bypassing that option, what would be the alternative to mental illness for someone shooting an assault rifle into a crowd of strangers?

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How is someone who murders a bunch of random people not mentally ill? I don't understand. Are we going to go back to the conspiracy theory explaining the event?

Bypassing that option, what would be the alternative to mental illness for someone shooting an assault rifle into a crowd of strangers?

It depends how you define mental illness. You can use the term sociopath, but analyzing it it would apply to almost everybody in prison on a longer term.

Sociopaths cannot be treated with pills.

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The best example I have seen of faking mental illness is Jack Nicholson in the movie "One flew over the cuckoo's nest", but in true life I dont believe that anyone going around murdering people is mentally incapable, they know what they are doing. mentall insanity is a Defence Lawyers act to get their client off,or a reduced sentence.And as long as these lawyers are paid huge sums they will go the whole 9 yards to get the case dismissed,All they have to do is convince some crappy ancient Judge past his shelf life,and hey presto the villian gets off lightly.

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How is someone who murders a bunch of random people not mentally ill? I don't understand. Are we going to go back to the conspiracy theory explaining the event?

Bypassing that option, what would be the alternative to mental illness for someone shooting an assault rifle into a crowd of strangers?

As soon as the guy picks up the rifle he is planning

(1) His scene of crime ,how many bullets to take with him.

(2) How to get there without causing attention to himself

(3) How to cause Maximum damage

(4) His escape route.

Please dont tell me anyone who does this is Mentally Insane,its Premeditated and I'm sorry I can't accept any other reason

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Posted (edited)

As soon as the guy picks up the rifle he is planning

(1) His scene of crime ,how many bullets to take with him.

(2) How to get there without causing attention to himself

(3) How to cause Maximum damage

(4) His escape route.

Please dont tell me anyone who does this is Mentally Insane,its Premeditated and I'm sorry I can't accept any other reason

Paranoid schizophrenics are fully capable of planning a shooting.. to rid the area of aliens, or something similar. Mental illness oesnt mean brain dead. For what reason would a sane person want to kill aaa random crowd of people?

Edited by _Only
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I don't have to fake mental illness. :passifier:

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Paranoid schizophrenics are fully capable of planning a shooting.. to rid the area of aliens, or something similar. Mental illness oesnt mean brain dead. For what reason would a sane person want to kill aaa random crowd of people?

Hi Buddy,How long do people have to have P.S without someone noticing their odd behaviour ?or does it just come on overnight ?(I'm not trying to be funny I just dont have the facts about this particular subject)..If I saw someone I knew behaving in an odd manner I would have a word with their families or something similar..in such a way as not to upset whom I was talking to.If they are a "loner" there's not much you Can do.cheers...

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I don't have to fake mental illness. :passifier:

Aye lad there's nowt so queer as people and even thee's a little queerer than me.(North England saying) .Enjoy the day cheers.
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The only time action can be forced on someone mentally ill is if they show that they are a harm to themselves, others, or gravely disabled. So either when they let someone know they want to do harm, or when it's too late.

Aside from that, many people with mind problems act and look fairly normal. There's just things going on inside that are ripping them up. I assume at some point for many (like we've seen in other cases like this) it gets to be too much and they snap. I would be willing to bet most people with problems in their mind keep it inside, and their families just see them as having big problems, but not knowing what exactly.

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Can You Fake Mental Illness?

It is possible for a person to successfully fake a mental illness.

The vast majority of psychologists and psychiatrists derive sustenance from government subsidy (Medicare, Medicaid, direct government employment, etc). Thus, they tend to be very poor at their trade because their pay is based upon bureaucratic compliance rather than performing good science.

Defense attorneys always hold the Mental Incompetence card in their negotiations with Prosecutors. Both side know this and act accordingly. Keep that in mind when monitoring media coverage of such things. In Texas where I live that card is usually played to avoid execution in favor of a life sentence. Usually successfully.

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who cares if they are insane?

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How is someone who murders a bunch of random people not mentally ill? I don't understand. Are we going to go back to the conspiracy theory explaining the event?

Bypassing that option, what would be the alternative to mental illness for someone shooting an assault rifle into a crowd of strangers?

How about possession by Satan ?

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Mental illness/insanity should never be a catch all term to explain away criminal behaviour, or behaviour we don't like, or behaviour we don't understand. Sadly, most people don't bother to find out about mental illness, and criterias for diagnosis, and how mental illness affects real people, unless they have an encounter with it, such as with the diagnosis of a family member.

We are horrified and appalled by what happened in Colorado. When a seemingly random act of violence like this happens, it shocks us in a way that other violent crime doesn't. We can dismiss the news about other violent crime by saying "Yeah, well this man killed his wife," or "Yeah, well this murder was because they were involved in some criminal activity." Statements like this reinforce our sense that our worlds are safe, because we're not married to that guy, and we're not involved in some dodgy business relationship with criminals. With random massacres like this, we are left to think that it could have been us, because we go places and do things and watch movies. We have to find other reasons for why it happened, and why we're safe from this happening to us.

I think it's lazy to assume that only crazy people do things like this. Crazy has a lot of different flavours, and a great many people who identify as crazy, are too damn incapacitated by depression or anxiety or emotional exhaustion to ever carry out a violent act. We specifically assume those with psychotic, hallucinatory illnesses, are violent and unpredictable. This is understandable, if we don't know anyone with schizophrenia, or anyone who has admitted to a distorted perception of reality, or an unexpected hallucination. The reality is that schizophrenia can be such an overwhelming, exhausting disorder, that people who have it are too damn busy with it to become violent criminals. You can get some relief from medication, but those medications have some of the worst side-effects imaginable.

We also appear to forget that people with mental illnesses are still people, and most people believe that they are good, and want to be good. You don't automatically become a comic-book arch villain when you start having symptoms. You still love the people you loved before your diagnosis. You just want your life back, without the fear and confusion and exhaustion.

This attack was premeditated. Holmes didn't rock up to the cinema and then suddenly find a surprise gun in his pocket. He planned the attack, and the location, and the equipment. He organised himself, and then put his plan into action. The question of his mental health will explore his mental state, and his perception of reality. Perhaps he truly has a distorted perception that it was necessary for him to do this because of whatever bizarre rationale he had developed. Or, perhaps his motivation for this was out of a sense of inadequacy and anger at other people in general. If he has experienced bullying and abuse, this indiscriminate anger would have an identifiable source. It wouldn't, however, be an excuse to attack a crowd of people, even if those people like Batman.

We all know it's a cop out, for a person to justify a destructive act by whinging that other people picked on them. We enforce this message with kids when they hit each other in the escalation of a trivial argument. There is, however, increasing evidence that bullying and rejection can impact on the neural development of children. Bullying can, over time, also result in marked cognitive deficits in adults. Check out the symptoms of PTSD. Humans are social animals, and rejection is perceived as a threat to survival. Perhaps Holmes experienced this kind of psychological damage, and this damage has skewed his perception of reality. There is also the possibility that he is genuinely mentally well, and shot all those people because he wanted to, that he had goals in life, like notoriety, which would be achieved by killing a bunch of people. Some people are just selfish arseholes.

It makes me angry that we throw around the accusation of mental illness whenever someone does something like this, because it isn't corroborated by the behaviour of most people with a mental illness. It's like blaming God for things we don't understand, like where the apples in the supermarket come from.

Edited by Amy the Mighty
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Dont you guys watch M.A.S.H ?

Klingers infamous section 8 .

Some people get away with it successfully . With modern methods,It's harder and harder to do,but some people are incredible actors.

The Holmes guy,has such distorted eyes.

Look at old photos of him,and present ones.

That guy is nuttier than a box full of pralines.... ahem. This lines I just wrote ,is a quote from a William Peter Blatty novel called The Ninth Circle of Hell.

It's based in fact ,as are many of his novels,and it was made into a movie.

The movie starred Stacy Keach ,and was released theatrically as Twinkle Twinkle,Killer Kane.

On dvd,I believe it now goes by Ninth Circle Of Hell.

During the Vietnam war,getting out of if,was the main objective . People fled to Canada,shot off toes,and pretended to be nuts,to get a section 8.

The premise of this movie,is are a bunch of Vietnam soldiers,faking insanity,to get out of the war,or are they legit.

I think the original study was done to form guidelines,to weed out fakers.

It takes place in an old castle built way upstate New York .

Some of the inmates are beyond comical,some are pretty out there,and some are sadly,so damaged from the war,It's left them a mess.

I loved this movie as a kid.

In many of blattys works,he always questions the existance of god .This one does it,in a way very different from the exorcist .

The guy they played father Karas in the exorcist,plays one of the inmates.

I highly recommend watching it,if you can .

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Holmes is crazy and he should still be held accountable.

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Can you fake mental illness?

People have in the past and people will in the future as long as it can provide a path to something they desire.

Their success depends on the level scrutiny they are given and how long the act needs to be kept up.

I think a more interesting view is can someone with a mental illness fake being well, the same rules probably apply.

Edited by Junior Chubb

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I think its possible, depends what the illness is i suppose.

If you set your mind to it,

Im lucky i dont need to LOL.

Once you've experianced mental illness, you know!

Thanks,

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As soon as the guy picks up the rifle he is planning

(1) His scene of crime ,how many bullets to take with him.

(2) How to get there without causing attention to himself

(3) How to cause Maximum damage

(4) His escape route.

Please dont tell me anyone who does this is Mentally Insane,its Premeditated and I'm sorry I can't accept any other reason

Do you really think everyone is that logical? Because thats just not true. You over estimate the intelligence of people.

You also underestimate the insanity of humanity.

Yes people can fake mental illnesses. People do quite often. I imagine its incredibly easy if you know enough.

Not in just criminal cases in regular life every claims to have some sort of disorder now in days.

Edited by Kazoo
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He planned this attack for four months. He could have abandoned this goal of his at any time during this period. This is different than a "spree" killing, where there is little premeditation beforehand, no more than a few hours.

In any case, he won't see the world from outside an institution.

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I don't know about faking insanity, but I do know a whole family of people who fake being sane.

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When someone commits a horrific, inexplicable crime, we naturally wonder whether he’s mentally ill: Who but a crazy person could do such a thing? But when a killer acts crazy after his arrest, we also might wonder whether he’s preparing for his trial. That’s the speculation around Colorado shooter James Holmes, whose psychiatric treatment and bizarre behavior in court and prison make people wonder whether he’s truly insane or building a case for an insanity defense. It leads to the question: Can a criminal get away with faking insanity?

http://www.slate.com...ng_.single.html

Faking mental illnes is akin to lying and many a criminal has got away with lying. The trouble with lying is one has to remember what one has said and this is where most criminals slip up

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